THE EGYPTIAN PROBLEM
war, the momentous declaration of August 20th, 1917, was made on behalf of His Majesty's Government in Parliament, that the object of British policy was to give Indians a greatly enlarged share in the conduct of their own affairs and lead them by gradual stages to the final goal of self-government within the Empire. Nor was any time lost in giving effect to that declaration. The Secretary of State, Mr. Montagu, himself proceeded to India for the purpose, and jointly with the Viceroy, Lord Chelmsford, drew up an exhaustive Report which served as a basis for a new Government of India Bill. As soon as it had been introduced into Parliament, it was referred to a Joint Committee of both Houses, who spent several months in taking exhaustive evidence, including that of Indians, some of whom represented even the most extreme schools of Indian political thought. In the last days of 191.9 the Bill, amended and substantially improved by the Committee, passed into law. A stirring message from the King-Emperor brought home to the princes and people of India that they had not shared in vain in the Empire's great struggle for liberty.
Opinions may differ, and do differ very widely, as to the details of this very far-reaching Reform Bill and as to many other issues raised by recent British policy in India. The unabated hostility of Indian extremists and the ugly storm that broke over the Punjab have tended to discourage the perhaps over-sanguine expectations raised by the great wave of enthusiasm which swept over India in the early part of the war. Nor must the Indian analogy be carried too far. There were many things we were able to do in India which it would have been obviously impossible to do in Egypt. India had long been an integral part of the British Empire. It was not till the war that Great Britain had claimed any paramount rights over Egypt. But the importance of reconciling the Egyptian people to their new relationship with the Empire might well have inspired the Britishto be approached from a new angle of vision, and in the very middle of thesh Represen- incorporatinghe visit which heocialf light railways and the introduc